KAUST's contribution to the G20 focuses on one of the three main G20 aims, namely Safeguarding the Planet. Together with colleagues from around the globe, our University pursues concrete actions to safeguard the world's commons by participating in the Energy Sustainability and Climate Stewardship working groups. The working groups establish a dialogue between stakeholders such as the G20 member countries and different international organizations, as they complement the negotiations and ministerial meetings.

Already before Saudi Arabia took over the G20 presidency from Japan in 2019, KAUST professors have been engaged in developing the concepts for theG20 programs, by collaborating with the Saudi Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.

In the run-up to the G20 Leaders' Summit of 2020, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosts regular meetings with international experts in the field, including several KAUST professors. They are actively involved in four out of seven priority areas for the Energy Sustainability and Climate Stewardship working groups; Cleaner Energy Systems for a New Era, Managing Emissions - Implementing the Circular Carbon Economy, Adaptation - Contribution to Global Solutions and Holistic Approach to Sustainable Mobility. Our KAUST professors have been highly active in writing the concept notes as well as planning the workshops and working group meetings for these areas. The University likewise contributed to developing the priority areas for the Digital Task Force through the efforts of professors and experts Donal Bradley, Slim Alouini, Boon Ooi, Xiangliang Zhang, Mootaz Elnozahey, Basem Shihada, Tareq Al-Naffouri and Jeff Shamma.

The KAUST senior leadership is grateful to its professors who are taking up important roles in these endeavors. They highly value the commitment several of the University’s thought leaders made to this project. With their strong input based on scientific insights, they emphasize KAUST's significant role in the global scientific field.

Remarkable contributions have come from professors and experts Carlos Duarte (priority area lead of Adaptation - Contribution to Global Solutions), Bill (William) Roberts (priority area co-lead of Cleaner Energy Systems for a New Era), Jorge Gascon (priority area co-lead of Managing Emissions - Implementing the Circular Carbon Economy), Mani Sarathy (priority area co-lead of Holistic Approach to Sustainable Mobility), Matthew McCabe, Mohamed Eddaoudi, Kevin Cullen and Mark Tester.

The members of the University’s Executive Committee overseeing our G20 engagement are our President, Dr. Tony Chan; Vice President of Research, Prof. Donal Bradley; and Senior Associate to the President and Vice President of Strategic National Advancement, Dr. Najah Ashry.

Prof. David Keyes and Dr. John Tannaci of the President’s Office were instrumental in shepherding our G20 efforts at the outset, and they continue to provide assistance as needed.

Illustrative numbers of KAUST’s contribution to the G20


Priority areas




Working Group meetings